Photo by Beth Burrell


by Patrice Boyer Claeys

There is a silence in the beginning—
the sun rising
slowly unraveling
so much black.

The limbs of light unwind
shake hands with the sea
crease the hillside
the here and now.

Over the uproar of cities
the strength of fields
the sun
watches the turmoil of beings
keeping time, time, time
with their own desires.

The light passes
Earth puts her finger to her lips
and then the sun
and balances on time’s edge
to roll the earth back into night.

The truth is concrete—
out of the darkness the light

the never-ending spiral
over and over and over.


* “Cosmological Eye” is a cento poem, all of whose lines come from other poets’ poems. The source poems are listed below in the order in which their lines appear. 

Cento sources:  James Merrill, Galway Kinnell, John Donne, Curzio Malaparte, Juan Felipe Herrera, Conrad Aiken, Jackie Kay, Mike Bazzett, Gerard Malanga, Theodore Weiss, John Gould Fletcher, James L. Dickey, John Ashbery, Lao-Tzu, Edgar Allen Poe, Primus St. John, H. D., Amy Clampitt, Laura Riding Jackson, Stephen Connolly, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, James Hearst, Debora Greger, Katie Peterson, Ed Roberson, Kerri Homerick, Robert Pinsky.